I enjoy listening to Pepper talk. She’s a very practical and no-nonesense kind of person. Her session on SEO did not disappoint. She outlined a basic but surprisingly powerful approach to a task that is widely considered to be incredibly complex.
There are 3 players in SEO: the people, the search engine, and the web site owners (us). Our responsibility is to offer people what they want on the pages they search. If we do this successfully, the search engines (okay, Google) will naturally rank us higher. Our goal should be to provide useful information to people, as opposed to simply trying to get millions of hits.
There are several tools that can help us measure the success of our information sharing:
- freekeywords.wordtracker.com (identify long tail keyword phrases)
- Google AdWords Keyword Tool
- Google Insights (discover the geographic locations people are searching from)
The goal is to find out what people are looking for, and tweak our sites to offer this to them. Pepper explained that most people organize their sites in a similar way: home page, services page, blog, etc. Instead, she recommends “flipping the triangle” and creating keyword-rich landing pages that target the specific topics users are searching for.
Also keep in mind that Google doesn’t scan keyword meta tags. Instead it relies on:
- Title meta tag (should include keyword phrases)
- Description meta tag (140 chars max)
- Domain URL (to separate words use hyphens, not underscores)
She recommends reading In the Plex by Steven Levy for a better understanding of how Google thinks.
Tomorrow I’ll recap one of my favorite presentations at the conf, “The Anatomy of a Freelancer” by David Rogers.
This post is one in a series from Indieconf 2012